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"It looked to me like they would be a great rock band. I've only had to be right once." — Paul McGuinness

by Tony Pearson

About the 20th time I've been to see the boys, and unfortunately the first time I can honestly say that I wasn't totally blown away. I left the "venue" thinking that it could have been better.

Don't get me wrong U2 stuck to their side of the bargain - the played with real energy & enthusiasm and were right up for the show. An earlier reviewer described them as "menacing" - totally apt.

The setlist was awesome - very tight, and the light show was also quality (esp The Fly).

The Glasgow crowd were also well up for the gig as usual. The reaction to Electric Co was legendary, and as for Sunday Bloody Sunday..well you really had to be there, words wouldn't do it justice.

Highlights for me were Electric Co, SBS, Streets and Vertigo 2, although all songs were excellent.

The problem solely lay in the position of the stage. I have seen U2 about a dozen times in Stadium shows and it was the first time that the stage was not at a traditional "goalpost" end of the pitch. Why? Suely not for "corporate puprposes"?

I entered Hampden fully expecting the stage to be at the traditional Celtic or rangers end of the stadium, but was confused to see it set up in front of the North Stand (ie at halfway line). This meant that the crowd filled out from left to right, instead of the usual front to back - seriously restricting the view of a large precentage of the crowd.

The only people who benefited from this ludicrous decision were the people in the Main Stand who were facing directly onto the stage, and were less than the width of a football park from the stage. The fact that this is the Stand where the fat-cats are wined and dined and Debenture Holders are seated, was surely the ONLY reason the stage was located in such a strange position.

So to all the critics out there, yes I agree the sound could have been better, yes I agree that the stage position was ridiculous, but don't direct the criticism at the band. Point the finger of blame at the people running the stadium, who were obviously only interested in looking after the interests of their "Corporate Clique".

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